To improve operational efficiency, organizations seek to optimize internal processes. Learn how to simplify repetitive tasks and save time with Power Automate. In this article, we’ll share how Power Automate can help you improve your Microsoft Teams experience. With simple examples, we will analyze the main features of the Power Automate with Microsoft Teams. And we will prepare other articles for advanced users, where we will analaize in more details the capabilities of this amazing platform.
What is Power Automate?
Power Automate is a cloud-based workflow engine from Microsoft. With this platform, you can easily automate any process or task. Many sources are available for you: from Office 365 products to your internal tools. Let’s look at the main benefits of Power Automate
Easy Integration with Other Apps
What we love about all Microsoft products is the ability to integrate them. With the Power Automate connector, you can link two applications together. So, data is moved from one application to another.
Quick and Safe Automation
If you think building an automated workflow is difficult, you are wrong. Anyone can build a secure workflow with a no-code guided experience
Robotic Process Automation
Automate processes with pre-assembled artificial intelligence abilities. With this, you will be able to stay on the really important strategic tasks.
So, Power Automate gives users endless possibilities. Set up notifications, track customers opportunities, automate approval processes, and more. But first, let us try to understand the platform interface and build the first automated workflow.
How to use Power Automate?
First, lunch Power Automate through the Microsoft Office website. This drops you on the homepage, where you can find different sections. At the top, you will see a few sample automation that you can try out. Down below there are some featured template collections. These are groups of templates relating to different areas. But for now, let’s create your first Flow.
Create a new Flow
Let’s say, you would like to create a new Flow. Click on +create and you will see different elements. Will start from scratch and see what these elements mean.
That means that any time some trigger occurs, the flow will take some action based on that. If you click on it, you can name your flow and choose your flow’s trigger.
Say, you are a project manager, working with your team in Microsoft Teams. You want to notify your team members each time when a new task is created. Okay, that’s easy!
Choose the trigger with Planner, and create an action choosing the right team and channels in Microsoft Teams.
And it’s done! Now, each time when you add a new task to the Planner, your team members will get a new message right to Teams Channel
The next option is to create an Instant Flow. With this option, you will need to manually trigger the flow. This compares to the previous example where it was an automated flow where we chose the Planner and then the flow automatically runs because Power Automate detects that trigger. So here you can manually trigger a flow and choose the actions from dozens of connectors. You can also choose something from Power Apps where you’ve built your own app, and much more.
Scheduled Cloud flow
With this flow, you can schedule a flow for a certain time or interval. Choose when to run the flow, how often to repeat this and when this flow will run. With advanced options, you can select a Time zone and Start time
This option allows you to create automation for Windows or Web Applications. Using this flow, you can record and playback user interface actions. You can read more about Desktop Flow here.
Business Process Flow
Business Process Flows provide organizations all the necessary information about their work process. They provide a streamlined user experience that leads people through the processes their organization has defined for interactions that need to be advanced to a conclusion of some kind.
With these flows, you can define the stages and steps with all needed data. Learn more about Business Process Flow here
Create the Flow from a template
Instead of creating a new flow, you can create the flow from a template. We love this option because thousands of users across the world can have similar problems to what you have. And they’ve already built tons of templates for you. Just type the keywords right into the search bar and you will see all the related templates. Let’s explore some of the most popular templates. Who knows, maybe it’s exactly what did you search for.
Imagine, you receive many important files via email. So as not to lose important files and reduce the time spent searching for the necessary documentation among hundreds of emails, you can use the template for Office 365 Outlook and OneDrive for Business. Thus, all attachments sent to your inbox will be saved in a folder called Email Attachments.
Next, imagine, you need to approve all new documents before sending them to clients. Use this template for SharePoint and Outlook to stay focused on secured documentation and avoid delays. When a file is added in SharePoint, the approval request is sent to another user who provides that approval.
Worried about forgetting an important email? Use this template for Planner and Outlook and create Planner tasks for important Office 365 emails.
As you may see, there are tons of useful templates. We are sure, you may find there something useful to simplify your daily work process.
Power Automate Capabilities with Microsoft Teams
As we discussed previously, there are many connectors that you can use while creating the Power Automate Flows. And now we will share with you some best practices to improve your Teams environment and automate work processes there.
Create and Manage Flow in Microsoft Teams
As we described earlier, you can create your own flow or use pre-built templates. There are tons of capabilities to automate your processes in Microsoft Teams.
To create your first flow, you will need to add Power Automate to your Teams Environment.
After, you will see different Tabs:
- Home – Here you will see your own Flows
- Create – There you can create the Flows from Templates or build your own one
- Chat – Send commands to the bot, that responds by performing the actions you command it to run
- Approvals – Manage received and sent approval workflows
- Business Process Flows – This tab shows your business process flows
- About – Here you can explore all documentation about Power Automate
Let’s create your first Flow. On the Create tab, you will see multiple templates that can fit into your organizational needs. Below we will describe the most popular ones.
Microsoft Teams with Forms
Using Microsoft Forms? Build the Flow, where your team members will be notified when a new form is submitted. While creating, choose the right form and Teams channel. Thus, an automated card to the channel will be posted when a new response is submitted.
Microsoft Teams with Planner
Use Power Automate to improve your tasks management with Microsoft Teams and Planner. Here you can notify a channel when a task in Planner is complete. Also, you can create Planner tasks right from Teams message.
SharePoint with Microsoft Teams
To improve your document sharing you can create the flows to get notifications right into Teams channels with a new SharePoint file is uploaded. In addition, you can notify a team when an item in a SharePoint list is modified.
Manage Approval Workflows in Teams with Power Automate
The next great option is the ability to customize Approval Workflow. You can reduce the time to get approval and improve control over document sharing.
There are a few options to create Approval Workflows in Microsoft Teams.
First, simply create an Approval Workflow right from Templates. For example, you can start an approval for new documents in Teams. One more option is to start an approval in Teams when a form response is submitted.
If you can’t find the right template, you could create your own Flow. Just choose the right triggers and actions you need. Check out our example. Here you can get an approval request when a new team member is added to the team.
Finally, you can start an approval right from a chat or channel. Just choose the Approvals App while creating a new conversation
Next, give the name for your request, choose an Approver, and upload the needed file for approval.
Well done! The card will appear in your Channel as a new Post
Use Chat Bot in Microsoft Teams
With a Bot in Microsoft Teams, you can list and launch flows. Just send different commands and get an automated response with a performing action. Here you can list and run the required flow. In addition, you can get a description of any flow.
Advanced Microsoft Teams and Power Automate Capabilities by SalesTim
Imagine that you are actively using Microsoft Teams in your organization. You’ve even built a few automatic flows, making your work routine easier. But this is still not enough. You still spend a lot of time on manual repetitive tasks. It takes a long time to create new teams for each of the new projects. Or you’re struggling with a mess of teams, duplication, and miscommunication. In addition, you would like to efficiently integrate 3rd party apps right into your Teams environment and streamline all processes. Looking for a solution?
And here we are. SalestTm – a collaboration management process app for Microsoft Teams. With SalesTim you’re able to build your own collaboration templates for Microsoft Teams. Build dozens of Templates according to your use cases: project management, sales deal room collaboration, marketing content management, and much more
With your own Templates Catalog your end-users will be able to create the fully provisioned teams right from Teams Templates with all needed content. Standard and Private Channels, Ready to go Planner, Tabs with Apps, and much more
And there is something else. Using SalesTim APIs you’re able to integrate any 3rd Party App right to Microsoft Teams Environment with Teams Templates Technology. Sounds good? And now, let’s see how SalesTim can help you with Microsoft Teams and Power Automate integration.
Let’s say, you use a CRM to manage your customer’s data. And now you would like to connect it right to your Teams Environment. With SalesTim you can automatically create a new team when a new Record is created. To do this, create a new automated flow. Choose the right trigger using Dynamic 365
Next, you will need to type SalesTim in the Action search Bar, and you will see the different options. In this case, you can create a new team based on a template. Thus, just choose the right Template, and it’s done!
Now, each time when a new record is created in your CRM, you will get a new team in your Teams Environment. There your colleagues can collaborate on a new sales deal with a pre-built environment.
Add specific content to a team
Now, let’s say you don’t want to create a new team for each of your new records. What should you do? With SalesTim you can create dozens of teams with dynamic content. In the same way, you can add a new account not as a new team, but as a new Tab into Channel when a new team is available. Thus, you can put the content as a tab that is different from one to another. The capabilities are endless!
In conclusion, we would like to say that there are many different scenarios, how you can improve and optimize your processes with SalesTim and Microsoft Teams. Would you like to explore how SalesTim can fit into your organizational needs? Book the demo and improve your collaborative processes at scale.